“Bee!” I shouted. Tears in my eyes, I ran towards the green faced woman screaming “I’ll kill you, bitch!”
She’d just murdered the best person I’d ever met. The person who believed in me. And she didn’t even appear interested. She looked bored.
Going as fast I could, I sped towards her, and ran straight into an eight foot tall skull which appeared out of nowhere.
I remained standing, my head sore and bleeding from it making impact with the skull. A couple seconds later, the skull disappeared, along with the blood on my head.
What was this woman?
“Stop being such a girl,” The black clad woman said. “Your friend is fine.”
“What the Hell are you talking about? You chopped his fucking head off!”
Mass chuckled. “Just look.”
I stared down at Carter, and saw that his head was reattached.
“I feel woozy,” Carter said.
“Bee!” I exclaimed with joy, running over and hugging him. I helped him stand up and asked “You okay?”
“Yeah. Not entirely sure what just happened but I’m alright.”
The green faced woman sipped more of her soda and Mass just stood behind her with a toothy grin.
“Allow me to introduce our leader, Elphaba,” Mass said.
“Elphaba?” Carter questioned. “As in the character from Wicked? Oh man. Are you a magic user like Magistar?”
She chugged what was left of her soda and threw the can away. “No. And I won’t be telling you what my power is much like I assume these lug heads did.”
Her head turned to Mass.
“Sorry,” he said.
I had no clue as to what Elphaba’s power could be, and while Carter was alive, he still wasn’t in any shape to fight. My top priority had to be making sure he got out of this.
“Hey, how’s this sound?” I asked. “You’re the leader of your team, and I’m the leader of mine. Lets let the boys take a rest and just go at it ourselves.”
I wasn’t sure if I even was the leader. Bang, Bee, and I weren’t even a real team. If we were though, I was pretty sure I would be the leader. I was smarter than Carter, and unlike Malcolm, I still had both arms attached.
“Sure, whatever,” Elphaba responded. “Might be good for a laugh or two. Probably not though. Mass, look over my brother and Exposure. Make sure neither of them is in too bad shape.”
“Aye aye,” He answered walking over to his fallen comrades.
“Queen, you sure you wanna do this?” Bee asked.
I whispered as I helped him get over to a bench. “I can take her. Plus, it’ll give me a chance to try and get some answers about what her power is and if they have any connection to Smog.”
“Okay. Just be careful,” he said, sitting down.
I walked back into the street, and stared Elphaba down.
A pair of hands appeared from the ground and clutched my legs. I struggled to get free, but the grip was too tight. Hearing something coming from above, I looked up and saw a steamroller falling from the sky, looking like it was going to fall on me.
I still had no idea how she was doing this, but I pushed that thought away for the moment, removed my feet from my shoes, and did a back flip with a lot of weight put into it, puling the hands out of the ground as I got out of the way of the incoming vehicle.
Just as I landed, the hands and steam roller faded away.
“That the best you’ve got?” I asked rhetorically.
In response to my question, two fire balls materialized, floating next to her. They came flying towards me, but before they could reach me, I teleported them to behind Elphaba so that they would hit her.
She was struck by them, but she wasn’t set on fire, she expressed no pain, and she didn’t move from where she was standing.
“I seriously can’t believe you beat Juggler,” Mass said, apparently watching what was happening. “Sure you’ve got some fancy moves, but you don’t stand a chance against us.”
If he wasn’t a Demigod , I’d be able to shut him up pretty easily. He could make himself weigh as much as he wanted to, but not more durable. If he was just a Median, I could have found a way to beat him. As it was though, I could only let him taunt me.
“She’s the one who knocked out Juggler?” Elphaba asked. “In that case, I’ll have to take this seriously.”
This had been her playing around? I had to figure out what exactly her power was and how to counter it before things got any worse.
Right now though, my only option was to attack head on, and hope that she wasn’t a Demigod. I teleported two of Juggler’s clubs into my hands and charged her.
On my way over though, my bare feet started burning, steam coming from the street. I couldn’t help but moan in pain as my feet turned black.
Elphaba was still standing there. Damn rubber sneakers. I fell to my knees, keeping my feet off the ground. My legs were still burning, but at least they were covered. My eyes were watering, but that didn’t stop me from seeing something odd.
Carter and Mass were on the sidewalk on either side of the street, but Exposure and Juggler were still laying in the street, and they didn’t appear to be affected by the heat.
The heat disappeared, my feet returned to their normal color, and the pain went away.
I was pretty sure I was catching on.
Standing up, I said “So be honest with me. Why did you want to lure us out?”
Elphaba yawned and stretched her arms. “You must think everything revolves around you. My team was just attacking the city because they thought it’d be fun.”
Fun. That was the reason I’d become Queen in the first place. And yet here I was, acting as the city’s protector. A few months ago, I would have laughed if someone told me I should become a superhero. This is what I had to do though. This was the only way I could redeem myself.
“And what? You don’t have the same sick sense of fun?”
Hearing something from behind, I turned my head as I was tackled to the ground by a large man in blue football gear. Like I expected he would, he disappeared a few seconds later. Unlike her last attack though, I was still feeling pain from it.
If she was just making me see and feel things, how could I be feeling pain even after she’d seized using her power?
“That’s real cute coming from a girl with a body count in the hundreds,” Elphaba said with me still on the ground.
“You’re right. I have killed that many people. I’ve done a lot of bad things.” I stood up. “But unlike you, I’m trying to make for them.”
I picked up the clubs and threw them with a spin at Elphaba. She could stop me from attacking her with her tricks, but if I was right that those tricks are all she had, then she had no defense against the clubs.
The clubs phased right through her, as she continued to stand calmly.
This couldn’t be real. She was just making me see this so I would think she was untouchable. I just had to keep telling myself that none of the weird stuff I was seeing was actually there or happening.
“Yeah! Nice shot, Queen!” Carter shouted.
So I had hit her. Good.
I didn’t see anything change though, so if I’d drawn any blood, she must have already wiped it off. Looking closer, I could see some red on her black shirt.
“Come on you bitch. Just surrender already so I can get the police here to arrest you.”
“Even if you could beat me, I think you’re forgetting about something,” she responded, gesturing with her head.
Maybe if Carter wasn’t in such bad shape, he could get super scared and blast Mass down, but as it stood, it would be too risky for him to get back in the fight.
“Alright, how’s this sound?” I asked. “We get the cops to pick up your two unconscious buddies, and then we can stop fighting, and you can get away.”
“Hm. You are a pretty boring opponent so I might have agreed to that if we were talking about Mass and Exposure. Unfortunately, you had to go and beat up my brother.”
A bullet went through my stomach. Int the following moments, the rest of my body was filled with bullets as well.
I tried thinking it wasn’t real, but to no avail. My body had already been beaten pretty badly in this fight; I didn’t have the strength to keep going.
I fell over, and even once the holes in my body sealed up, I was unable to stand. Her power must get stronger the more she uses it on a person.
‘Queen!” Carter shouted, electricity surrounding his body.
“Ah,” I got out, attempting to speak.
“We’re done,” Elphaba said. “Mass, grab the others so we can get out of here.”
“Not so fast!” Carter screamed, getting up. “You didn’t want to tell us about your power, but I’ll tell you about one of mine. When I get scared, I don’t just shoot lightning. I also heal!”
Lightning Bee lifted his arms and fired blasts at Elphaba. Mass must have made himself weigh next to nothing, because he was able to speed over to her and take the hit, sending him flying. Carter must have been really worried about what happened to me, since to him it had looked like I’d just randomly collapsed.
Elphaba sighed.”Great. They’re all out. That’s wonderful,” she said sarcastically.
Carter prepared another blast, but then the charge went away, and he froze in place.
“Bee, whatever she’s making you see, it isn’t real!” I screamed, hurting myself.
I wasn’t sure if he didn’t hear me or if he was just too engulfed in the illusion, but he didn’t respond, just continuing to stand there, shaking.
For pretty much the first time, Elphaba moved from where she was standing and ran straight for Lightning Bee. Along the way, she pulled out a knife which she then used to stab Carter.
“Bee!” I panicked.
I turned my head, not wanting to look at Carter falling, but what I ended up seeing was almost as bad. Exposure and Juggler groaned and stood up.
“Man sis, you really did a number on these guys,” Juggler said.
“Truly this has been a glorious victory for the Troupe Experience! Word of our ability shall spread throughout the world,” Exposure said.
“Yeah, you guys were totally helpful,” Elphaba said, continuing to be sarcastic. “Come on. Lets go back to the base.”
Exposure picked up an unconscious Mass under one of his arms, and they all began to walk off.
I crawled over to Carter, still unable to stand.
“You alright Bee?” I asked.
His eyes watered and he clenched his teeth. “I thought I saw King Power. I thought I saw my dad.”
I knew Carter loved the old heroes, but I didn’t realize he saw them as parental figures. I guess both of us got the short end of the stick when it came to biological parents.
“Its alright Carter,” I whispered. “Its gonna be alright.”
Out of nowhere, Bang showed up riding on his bike in the air, going right over the cars in the street. He landed and stopped driving.
“You kids okay?” he asked. Neither of us were able to give a response. “I’ll take that as a no. Shit, Shay really should have said something that would have let me come with you from the start.”
The Troupe Experience came walking back over and Juggler said, “Man dude. That bike stunt was sick.”
Malcolm took a long look at each of them.
“Really guys? You let these clowns beat you?” Malcolm asked.
“Sorry,” Carter said, clearly embarrassed,
“Hey,” Exposure said. “My friend just complimented you. Aren’t you gonna say anything in response?”
Malcolm smiled. “Say, are any of you bullet proof?”
“As a matter of fact, I am,” Exposure answered.
“I see. Lets test that theory.”
Malcolm whipped out a gun and shot Exposure in the shoulder. As it turned out,he wasn’t actually immune to bullets. He dropped Mass and fell to his knees.
“Oh god. What the shit?” Exposure cried out.
“Listen up. I hope you’ve enjoyed your tenner as villains, because its coming to a close. You beat these two, but you can’t beat me. I see you out here causing trouble again, and I will kill every last one of you. Got it?”
No one said anything for a few seconds.
Juggler broke the silence speaking quickly. “Dumb guy who only has one arm says what?”
Oh Malcolm. Carter must be rubbing off on you.
Elphaba stepped forward.
What was she gonna do?
“Okay. We’re out,” she said. “We good?”
“Um. Okay,” Malcolm said, clearly caught off guard. He regained his composure and said “Just remember. If you ever try anything again, I’ll be there.”
“Sure, whatever,” Elphaba said, walking back to her team and gesturing for them to move out.
“Ow,” I said as Olivia wrapped a bandage around around my arm. “Remind me why I can’t just call a healer.”
Olivia took a cloth with alcohol on it and dabbed my forehead with it. “You’ve been spending far more than usual lately. On top of the usual amount you spend shopping, you just bought that Lamborghini, and all of your treatments following our battle with Smog weren’t cheap either. Your dad or step mom will notice eventually.”
Carter put his shirt back on after checking to make sure all of his wounds had healed. “That’s pretty smart thinking. Here I thought you were just Raina’s muscle.”
Olivia ignored him and continued cleaning my wounds.
Eve, Shay, and whatever the fat cop’s name was were all still getting things set up in the guest house so it was just the four of us actually important people in my foyer.
“So let me get this straight,” Malcolm started. “You guys got you asses kicked by a bunch of musical enthusiasts who’s powers include: stripping, juggling, and weighing a fuck ton,” he declared rather than asked.
“I already said sorry,” Carter said. “Plus, if you were there, we totally could have taken them.”
Before Malcolm could respond, I said “The guys weren’t the big problem. It was their leader. Doesn’t matter how strong you are, that girl can fuck with your brain.”
“That too!” Carter unnecessarily shouted. “Its like I’ve been saying since we got out of the hospital. The three of us should form a team.”
Knowing that she was no longer a part of the conversation, Olivia took out her phone and put in her headphones.
“Look, I like you guys, but I’m not a goddamn super hero. You two have made it very clear that you’re both against killing for any reasons, and that’s kind of what I do.”
Combined with what Elphaba had said, that got to me.
“There’s a reason we don’t kill! It doesn’t matter how awful someone is, no one should get to decide if someone else lives or dies!”
“Raina,” Carter said.
Before he could say anything else, Malcolm stood up from the chair he was sitting in and put a hand on my shoulder.
“I’m sorry. Looking at you, I forget that you’re the same person as the Queen I read about in the news.” I shut my eyes and lowered my head. “And that’s because your not. Carter’s got some gift that allowed him to see you for you while you were a villain, but its clear as day now that you’re not a bad person.” Opening my eyes, he turned his attention to Carter. “Unlike you though, I’ve never really felt strongly about murder one way or another. Its just how I decided I could help the world.” He sighed. “But, I suppose if I’m going to be staying in a city where Smog aside, none of the criminals are killers, I suppose I could fight with you guys using bean bag rounds.”
I still wasn’t feeling great, but what Malcolm had said made me feel a little better.
An ecstatic Carter showed his enthusiasm while also trying to cheer me up.
“You hear that Raina? We’re a team!”
Smiling, Malcolm shook his head. I wasn’t sure what had caused his change of heart so quickly, but I was glad it had happened.
Despite what I told myself every day and every night, I was never going to truly be able to make up for everything I’d done. That didn’t mean that it wasn’t still my responsibility to try.
I raised my head and put a smile on.
“Well if we’re going to be a team, then we’ll also need a leader. I nominate…”
“Malcolm,” Carter said flatly.
“What?” Malcolm asked.
“Yeah, I was actually thinking it should be me,” I said.
“I may have the most power, but I’m also the worst in combat out of the three of us. Malcolm on the other hand has the most experience and it the best fighter. Raina, you’re awesome, but Malcolm really is the logical choice.”
As much as I didn’t like not being in charge, what Carter had said was true. In addition, he’d just proven he could give a Hell of a speech.
“Alright,” I said. “Sounds good.”
“Yeah, okay, I’ll do it. But if I”m taking you two into battle with me, you’re going to have to train with me, because I do not plan on being the leader of a team who gets beaten up by a singing, naked man.”
“More importantly,” Carter said in a serious tone. “We need a name!”
“No, no we don’t,” Malcolm said.
“Oh come on,” he whined. “All great super hero teams have had names.”
“Carter, we’re literally the only super hero team in the world, and two of us are wanted criminals. I don’t think we have to worry about brand recognition,” I said.
‘But guys!” he whined very loudly.
“Shut up Carter,” Malcolm and I said in unison as we smiled at each other.